Bay Path University is among seven national competition winners receiving combined $8 million to collaborate across communities to build new education-to-employment pathways
Longmeadow, MA, February 5, 2019— Bay Path University today was named as a winner of a philanthropic funding contest by national nonprofit Strada Education Network. Bay Path University was awarded $1,582,600 for a three-year project titled “Closing the Gaps: Building Pathways for Adult Women in a Technology-Driven Workforce.”
Implemented through The American Women’s College of Bay Path University, the project will address a critical national need for developing a digitally fluent workforce - applicable not only in cybersecurity and the tech sector but in other fields as well - that is well-prepared with foundational 21st Century skills in digital technologies, coding, data science, systems thinking and the ability to apply these skills across different problems, settings and industries.
“No one sector can close skill and equity gaps, alone. All of the recipients share our commitment to engaging with an ecosystem of educators, community organizations and employers to help individuals bridge the divide between education and economic opportunity,” said William D. Hansen, president and CEO of Strada Education Network. “We’re excited to support Bay Path University. They’re listening to education consumers as well as employers, and designing solutions that are relevant to the real-world challenges -- and opportunities -- today’s students face.”
According to recent data from the Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey, individuals who view their educational experience as relevant to the world of work are far more likely to complete their education and report that their learning was worth the cost. Employers also indicate that they prefer to hire people who gain practical work experience as they study.
Bay Path University was selected from hundreds of applicants in the “innovative solutions in education-to-employment” competition Strada Education Network announced in 2018, which prioritized investment in working adults required to upskill as the labor market shifts and “disconnected youth,” aged 18 to 24 years old, who are neither working nor in school.
Bay Path University will use its grant to undertake extensive employer research and engagement and to build capacity of The American Women’s College to scale enrollment of adult women and prepare them with core cybersecurity and information technology competencies that meet the needs of employers, support them as they persist to degree completion, and assist them to successfully transition to careers in cybersecurity and IT-related employment. The project will leverage evidence-based strategies, adaptive learning technology and predictive analytics built into the Social Online Universal Learning (SOUL) model that is the foundation of The American Women’s College online accelerated baccalaureate degree programs for adult women. Partners include the Bay Path University Cybersecurity Academic Advisory Council, Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board, MassHire Franklin Hampshire Workforce Board, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council, Pass the Torch for Women, PSI Services, Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund, Springfield Technical Community College, University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute, and the Center for Educational Policy at the College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
“The advancement of women is central to Bay Path University’s mission as a women’s university,” states Amanda Gould, Chief Administrative Officer at The American Women’s College. “Through The American Women’s College, our strategic priority has been to scale up our capacity to reach more adult women through high quality online learning which in turn will help them achieve career-focused degrees and credentials. The Strada Education Network grant will help us strengthen this pipeline and address a critical national need to prepare a digitally fluent workforce that is fully inclusive of women and minorities.”
# # #
About Bay Path University
Bay Path University was founded in 1897. With locations in Longmeadow (main), East Longmeadow (Philip H. Ryan Health Science Center), Springfield (MA), Sturbridge (MA), and Concord (MA), Bay Path’s innovative program offerings include traditional undergraduate degrees for women, The American Women's College on-ground and online, the first all-women, all-online accredited bachelor’s degree programs in the country; over 25 graduate programs for women and men; and Strategic Alliances, offering professional development courses for individuals and organizations. Bay Path’s goal is to give students confidence in the fundamentals of their chosen field, the curiosity to question the ordinary, the leadership to show initiative, and the desire to make a difference.
About Strada Education Network
Strada Education Network® is a national nonprofit dedicated to improving lives by catalyzing more direct and promising pathways between education and employment. The Network engages partners across education, nonprofits, business and government to focus relentlessly on students’ success throughout all phases of their working lives. Together, they address critical college to career challenges through strategic philanthropy, research and insights, and mission-aligned affiliates — all focused on advancing the universal right to realized potential called Completion With a Purpose®. Learn more at StradaEducation.org.
Lucia Anderson Weathers